With over 500 million active users, Telegram is one of the world’s most popular instant messaging apps. If you’re having difficulties accessing it, chances are you’re up against a geoblock or a firewall. In such situations, the best solution is to use a Telegram VPN to spoof your location and encrypt your traffic.
- A virtual private network (VPN) is the best way to sneak past geoblocks and firewalls and access the full features of Telegram
- ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Telegram because of its incredible speeds. NordVPN is a reliable but cheaper alternative
- Surfshark and CyberGhost are cheaper long-term options, but if you want a free VPN, we recommend Windscribe
Telegram is built to ensure secure and private messaging, so it’s no surprise that the likes of China, Iran and Pakistan have outlawed it. Even western countries like Germany are reportedly weighing banning the app to ensure that extremists can’t use it to stoke hate and conflict. Some schools and workplaces also don’t allow Telegram on their WiFi.
Whatever the case, you’ll need a robust VPN service to access and enjoy all of Telegram’s features, whether it’s creating channels or sending secret messages. In this guide to the best VPN for Telegram, you’ll learn about our five best picks. To spoil things a little, ExpressVPN is our top pick. With that out of the way, let’s jump right in.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for unblocking Telegram, thanks to its blazing-fast speeds and extensive server network. You also get access to a suite of handy security and privacy features that keep you safe while using Telegram.
A few countries have blocked Telegram and you may find that it doesn’t function in your school or workplace. A VPN helps you bypass any such geoblocks and firewalls, ensuring that you use Telegram without hassle.
Windscribe is the best free VPN for Telegram. Its free plan comes with a rather generous 10GB offer, and you can create your own plan. Adding specific server locations and features will set you back just $1 each.
Top VPNs for Telegram
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency114 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
Average speedDownload Speed64 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency45 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
Average speedDownload Speed90 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 10
What Makes the Best Telegram VPN?
When choosing a VPN provider for Telegram, you need to consider three key factors: server network, speed and security. Based on our rigorous examination and testing, here are our top five picks:
- ExpressVPN — Best VPN for unblocking Telegram
- NordVPN — Secure VPN for getting around Telegram blocks
- Surfshark — Budget-friendly option for using Telegram
- CyberGhost — Cheap VPN with a large server network to unblock Telegram
- Private Internet Access — Best Telegram VPN for long-term commitment
A large VPN server network is vital for getting past censorship and geoblocks, as you can see in our geoblocking guide. You might be tempted to only look at the server count, but you also need to consider the server spread. A good VPN should have a good concentration of servers in high-traffic countries like the U.S. and still have a good number worldwide.
One of Telegram’s biggest selling points is that you can upload up to 1.5GB per file — making a mockery of WhatsApp’s measly 16MB cap. As a result, Telegram is often preferred for data-heavy work, so you need a fast VPN. We’ve already done the legwork for you in our fastest VPN guide, showing the VPNs with the fastest download and upload speeds.
Finally, a Telegram VPN should pack a punch when it comes to security and privacy. The likes of AES-256 encryption, a kill switch and DNS leak protection are standard fare.
However, look out for some helpful features like a double VPN, split tunneling and secure protocols. A no-logs policy is important as well, but beware of providers that break that promise (see our IPVanish review).
The 5 Best VPNs for Telegram
In this section, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons, features and pricing of each of our picks, explaining why they made the cut.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $6.66 per month (15-months plan)
- Provider website: expressvpn.com
- Extremely fast
- Excellent security features
- Large server network
If you’ve read our best VPN guide, you won’t be surprised that ExpressVPN takes the first position here too. An all-rounder, ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes for unblocking Telegram: It’s fast, secure and has a vast server network. When we cross-examined 14 VPN services, it came out as the fastest VPN, with impressive download and upload speeds.
ExpressVPN has servers in 160 locations worldwide, making it an elite option for skirting geoblocks. As security and privacy features go, ExpressVPN is a behemoth. ExpressVPN is also the best VPN for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Besides the standard AES-256 encryption and a kill switch, the VPN offers the Lightway protocol, a secure protocol that’s faster than the standard OpenVPN. Read our ExpressVPN review to learn more.
Enjoy the Security and Privacy That TrustedServer Technology Brings
Hailed as one of the most advanced server technologies, TrustedServer ensures that your data is wiped each time a server is booted. Because the servers run on RAM only, they never write data to the hard disk.
As a result, even if a government forces ExpressVPN to release your Telegram data, there’d be nothing to see. This is one of the reasons it tops our best VPN for China list.
When it comes to pricing, ExpressVPN is expensive, although you can save some money with its annual plan. You can take it for a test run with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $3.29 per month (two-year plan)
- Provider website: nordvpn.com
- Large server network
- Obfuscated servers
- Excellent security features
- Expensive monthly plan
- No phone support
If you don’t have the funds for ExpressVPN, NordVPN is a cheaper yet reliable ExpressVPN alternative. As we’ve shown in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN review, even though NordVPN isn’t quite as fast as ExpressVPN, it’s not too far behind, thanks to the blazing-fast NordLynx protocol.
Aside from that, NordVPN gives you access to over 5,400 VPN servers in 60 countries. So whether you’re an expat in Hong Kong or you’re visiting Taiwan for the holidays, you’ll find a handy server to help you access Telegram.
Fortunately, NordVPN has a slew of obfuscated servers, which conceal the fact that you’re using a VPN. Learn more in our NordVPN review.
Fend Off Threats Using NordVPN’s CyberSec
Messaging apps are often ripe for dangerous messages, links and attachments — and Telegram is no different. For example, in 2021, there were reports of malicious actors using malware known as ToxicEye to compromise user files. NordVPN’s CyberSec, which blocks malware, ads and trackers, can protect you if you click on a malicious link in a Telegram message.
NordVPN’s monthly plan is almost as expensive as ExpressVPN’s, but you get steep discounts on the one-year and two-year plans. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so it’s worth a try.
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $2.49 per month (two-year plan)
- Provider website: surfshark.com
- Unlimited devices
- Camouflage mode
- A relatively new service
Although quite new on the VPN scene, Surfshark is giving older VPNs a run for their money. So far, the VPN service has amassed more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries, making it a good choice for expats and travelers.
Surfshark’s RAM-only servers don’t store any data and they are occasionally wiped clean, so you don’t have to worry about your Telegram data being exposed.
Other noteworthy features include a kill switch, private DNS and leak protection, and a variety of protocols (WireGuard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN). If you’re looking to share your VPN with family, Surfshark is a good choice, since it allows you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously. Learn more in our Surfshark review.
Hide Your VPN Use With Camouflage and NoBorders Mode
Because your government, ISP or school might be monitoring and blocking VPNs, you need one that supports obfuscation. Surfshark’s camouflage mode veils your VPN use, making it appear as regular internet traffic. In similar fashion, NoBorders mode is built to get you access to the internet in highly restrictive countries where VPNs are frowned upon.
Surfshark’s monthly plan is pricey, but you’ll save a lot of money with the longer term plans, especially on the two-year plan. If you’re not ready to make a commitment, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test it.
More details about CyberGhost:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $2.29 per month (three-year plan + three months)
- Provider website: cyberghostvpn.com
- Large server network
- Cheap long-term plans
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Inconsistent speeds on OpenVPN
- Not the best streaming performance
CyberGhost takes the fourth spot in this review, but it’s not too far behind third-placed Surfshark, as shown in our Surfshark vs CyberGhost comparison. With around 7,800 servers in 91 countries, CyberGhost has the highest number of servers on this list, making it an excellent choice for sneaking past geoblocks.
Our biggest gripe with CyberGhost is the inconsistent speeds on OpenVPN, though it’s much faster and stable on the IKEv2 and WireGuard protocols. Other useful CyberGhost features when using Telegram include dedicated IP addresses, NoSpy servers, DNS leak protection and a kill switch. Discover more features in our CyberGhost review.
Automate Your Telegram Use With Smart Rules
VPNs generally offer an automatic connection feature, but with Smart Rules, CyberGhost takes it a notch higher. You can create your own privacy triggers and set up your VPN to perform specific tasks.
For example, you can set your VPN to connect to a specific server and launch Telegram each time you turn it on. If you’re a daily Telegram user, this is a convenient and time-saving feature.
CyberGhost’s two-year plan saves you loads of money. If you have doubts, you can take it on a test run for 45 days risk-free — the longest money-back guarantee on our list.
5. Private Internet Access
More details about PIA:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $4.99 per month
- Provider website: privateinternetaccess.com
- Affordable pricing
- Dedicated IP addresses
- Built-in ad & malware blocker
- Slow upload speeds
- Doesn’t work with Hulu or BBC
Last on our list is Private Internet Access, a surprisingly robust VPN with affordable pricing. Although its feature set isn’t as comprehensive as ExpressVPN (see our ExpressVPN vs PIA comparison), it’s still great nonetheless, with servers in 84 countries. You’ll get useful features like a kill switch, split tunneling and a strict no-logs policy.
PIA came in fifth mainly because it’s not as fast as the others on this list, especially with respect to upload speeds. However, it has robust features like MACE (the malware blocker) and the Shadowsocks proxy to help you get past malware and strict censorship. Read our PIA review to learn how these features and more can help you use Telegram with ease.
Use Telegram With a Dedicated IP Address
Instead of shared IP addresses, PIA can give you a dedicated IP address (at a cost). In other words, you’ll always have the same IP address and you’ll always appear to be in the same location each time you attempt to access Telegram. Such IP addresses help you avoid blocklists and skip past annoying verification requirements such as CAPTCHAs.
PIA — a low-cost CyberGhost alternative — has the cheapest two-year plan on this list. Its monthly plan is also one of the cheapest we’ve seen. Further, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on each plan.
Can You Use a Free VPN for Telegram?
You can use a free VPN to access Telegram, but such VPNs are often not worth the trouble. Aside from possibly having to deal with ads and malware, you’ll only get scanty security features and a limited server collection, as you can see in our best free VPN guide.
However, Windscribe is an exception. Although it doesn’t offer unlimited data like ProtonVPN (see our ProtonVPN review), it has an impressive collection of security features and all-round performance to help you use Telegram.
Windscribe: The Best Free VPN for Telegram
More details about Windscribe:
- Pricing: 10GB free, cheapest plan costs $5.75 per month (one-year plan) per server
- Provider website: windscribe.com
- Generous free plan
- Build-a-plan option
- Double VPN feature
- Three-day money-back guarantee
- Unreliable speed
Windscribe is our favorite free VPN, as you can see in our Windscribe review. Despite coming at no cost, it has a lot of useful security features, including AES-256 encryption and a double-hop feature with the browser extension. There’s also R.O.B.E.R.T., which is an effective malware blocker.
With Windscribe, you get 10GB of data free in exchange for your email address, but you’ll be limited to servers in 10 countries. To access servers in all 63 countries, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the premium plans.
Alternatively, you can build your own plan by choosing specific server locations for just $1 each and you can unlock unlimited data for another dollar.
- : Unlimited GB
- : Unlimited
Which Countries Have a Telegram Ban?
Telegram is currently banned in China, Cuba, Pakistan, Thailand and Iran. Such totalitarian countries often ban messaging apps, ostensibly to control the spread of information and fight extremist groups. However, some democratic states are also clamping down on Telegram.
For instance, Germany has blocked several Telegram channels and is reportedly weighing banning it completely to fight extremism. On the other hand, Brazil’s supreme court has banned Telegram, in an effort to crack down on “fake news.”
The government has also warned that people who use VPNs could be fined up to $20,000, so if you still want to use it, you’ll need key security features like a double VPN and leak protection.
Final Thoughts: The Best Telegram VPNs
Many people are turning to Telegram, thanks to its security and privacy features. However, some totalitarian countries have blocked the app, while schools and workplaces often restrict access, citing security and productivity concerns. Fortunately, a VPN is an excellent workaround.
From our testing, ExpressVPN is our the best VPN for unblocking Instagram, but NordVPN and Surfshark are much cheaper options. If you’re willing to commit to a long term plan, we recommend CyberGhost’s three-year plan. If you want a customized VPN plan or an absolutely free option, go for Windscribe.
Have you ever used a VPN to unblock Telegram? Did you experience any difficulties while at it? Which VPNs did the trick for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.